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Class of April 2015 Part 9

Old 12-01-2015, 01:33 PM
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Cauliflower View Post
Hi everybody! I've been so busy with life it's such a busy time for us.

Amp: I remember your story from earlier days...it's a nice feeling to know that you helped change someone's life.

I've been feeling overwhelmed and stressed out lately. Don't know why, but we've been super busy. The other night, I caught myself saying that I could go for a nice glass of wine to chill out. First time I had those thoughts in a long, long time. I talked myself out of it very quickly, it's just not a place I want to be in. With the holidays coming and with our busy winter coming up, it's going to be stressful, and I know drinking will only make it worse. I need to plan for stress relief. What do you guys to take the edge off in a healthy way? I'm just so tired and drained.
I exercise. Howling wind, whatever. Never regret it. Key is not to think about it, just go and do it. It always always works

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Old 12-01-2015, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by stargazer016 View Post
I too go decent periods now not even thinking about drinking. In a way, I sometimes wonder if I wasn't visiting these boards every day if I would think about drinking at all. I don't think I'm quite strong enough to go that route yet.
I wonder that too, but there is so much temptation and almost a requirement sometimes in my work that I am happy to have a reminder of where I used to be.

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Old 12-01-2015, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by stargazer016 View Post
Another day of crazy holiday retail in the books. This time last year I was drinking heavily to relieve the stress and "relax" quickly after work. Not drinking has allowed me to sleep a little better and of course, not feel like dirt waking up the next day. My anxiety levels are way down from last year.It sounds funny to say it, but I never before considered how stressful being an alcoholic really was. Life is so much easier to deal with when you are not either smashed or trying to recover from being so every single day.
Absolutely true. Like everyone else I have a busy run in to Christmas and normally feel completely drained by now because of even more boozing than normal. Not this year

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Old 12-02-2015, 12:53 PM
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Hi all,
Success! Flipped a dinner meeting to breakfast. Happy days!

Another thing - working long hours is so much easier when you don't start each day with a raging hangover.

Hope you are all well.

Best wishes
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Old 12-02-2015, 01:39 PM
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I'm so much more "into" my work now. I make the most of it and rise to the challenges. I used to spend my time wishing I was somewhere else. Certainly better without those horrible hangovers!!!
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Old 12-02-2015, 03:33 PM
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That's awesome Amp. Yeah...I lost my job because my attitude towards it was real bad. Which I blame on drinking.

Swim....OMD is 100% right. You know it. I'm not one to exercise either. But I do know to go for walks...walking fast to get my heart rate up. Cures stress. Eat good, vitamins, etc. When times are real stressful, I make myself meditate too. I prefer listening to self guided vids on utube.
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:54 PM
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I'm in a better place now, mentally. I was just in a funk I suppose. I keep telling myself not to shut down and to just keep putting one foot in front of the other (or do one more accounting entry, or answer one more email), and the stress will go away. I used to drink when stressed which was the same a shutting down. I realized today that telling to keep going is exactly what I need. I am so grateful for not turning to alcohol. The only thing I can do to relieve the stress is to keep on working, plugging along and getting as much done as possible. Its the work load that is causing me stress. I am reading more at night to calm my brain and today I just took a meditation break which helped.

We are leaving for our winter get a way in a couple weeks! I have so much to do before then, but I am so looking forward to just getting away, we need a break. We are going to mexico for the holidays. I've been a few times before, and this will be the first time sober and I cannot wait to experience Mexico with no raging hangover!
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by amp123 View Post
I'm so much more "into" my work now. I make the most of it and rise to the challenges. I used to spend my time wishing I was somewhere else. Certainly better without those horrible hangovers!!!
It is amazing how I am actually fully performing my job each day at work instead of slogging through it dreaming about pounding down that first drink. Though my job is as stressful as ever, my personal stress levels are way down not drinking, and for that, I am grateful.
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:25 AM
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It just occurred to me that for my fellow April class mates, Christmas and New Years are potentially the last big drinking holidays of the year that we will go through sober for the first time. (Well, I have a January birthday too!)

I started sobriety right at the beginning of my true drinking season. I quit drinking one week before a "Raise your Mug for a Cure" cancer event my sister in law runs where you pay 40 bucks to drink as much craft beer as you want. I somehow survived that 8 days in, when no one even knew I was quitting. Survived the Memorial BBQ picnic with 120 people drinking heavily. July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, multiple concerts. I guess drinking holidays were not really all that important to me because every day in my life became a drinking holiday. "Holiday" drinking was just for amateurs. We have all come a long way April mates!
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Cauliflower View Post
I'm in a better place now, mentally. I was just in a funk I suppose. I keep telling myself not to shut down and to just keep putting one foot in front of the other (or do one more accounting entry, or answer one more email), and the stress will go away. I used to drink when stressed which was the same a shutting down. I realized today that telling to keep going is exactly what I need. I am so grateful for not turning to alcohol. The only thing I can do to relieve the stress is to keep on working, plugging along and getting as much done as possible. Its the work load that is causing me stress. I am reading more at night to calm my brain and today I just took a meditation break which helped.

We are leaving for our winter get a way in a couple weeks! I have so much to do before then, but I am so looking forward to just getting away, we need a break. We are going to mexico for the holidays. I've been a few times before, and this will be the first time sober and I cannot wait to experience Mexico with no raging hangover!
Congrats on hanging strong Cauli! The stress and darkness of this time of year always led me to drink even more than usual. I am extremely jealous of your warm Xmas getaway! Hope you have a better time than ever being sober.
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:19 PM
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Hi all,
So here is my update. I like being sober, no question, who wouldn't, but after nearly 7 months, I also miss drinking. I miss the camaraderie, the social side. I also miss turning off, going from 100mph to 0 within 10 mins after coming through the door. I miss the effect that alcohol has.

I am absolutely not remorseful because it is completely my choice and I don't feel deprived or tempted at all because I also don't miss all the utterly bad things about drinking. There is a lot I now love about my life that was in tatters before. I suppose what I am saying is that I would like to have the best of both worlds. If it is a binary choice then I choose to be sober no question but if I could choose to drink a bit then I would do that.

I am not sure where all this is taking me, but I won't end up capitulating or 'accidentally' having a drink or whatever. I am not considering all of this because I am stressed because I wouldn't use alcohol to relieve stress any more - that much is clear to me. I have also read all the AVRT stuff and it's a nice way to box in such thoughts if you want to.

Maybe the bottom line for me is that it's ok just to miss certain aspects of drinking just like you miss certain aspects of a person with whom you had a failed relationship, and with whom it would never work out.

This isn't an urge just - we only get one life and I want to enjoy as much as possible, having gone too far with alcohol can I now not go too far? I know a lot about wine and have always enjoyed it, for example. Do I never want to drink it again? No. Could I if I had to? Easily, but then I don't want to regret not having done so.

I am going to think about this some more. Thanks for letting me write up these confused thoughts.

Best wishes
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:30 PM
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Hey OMD!
I think it's OK to miss elements of drinking. There's that part of it that so many people love and enjoy... Hence its popularity!!! Shame for people like us that it's either ON or OFF but, like you, I don't dwell too much on that because the good from sobriety outweighs the bad 100 fold.

Nice to hear your views
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by amp123 View Post
Hey OMD!
I think it's OK to miss elements of drinking. There's that part of it that so many people love and enjoy... Hence its popularity!!! Shame for people like us that it's either ON or OFF but, like you, I don't dwell too much on that because the good from sobriety outweighs the bad 100 fold.

Nice to hear your views
Thanks Amp, appreciate that.

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Old 12-03-2015, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by OMD View Post
Hi all,
So here is my update. I like being sober, no question, who wouldn't, but after nearly 7 months, I also miss drinking. I miss the camaraderie, the social side. I also miss turning off, going from 100mph to 0 within 10 mins after coming through the door. I miss the effect that alcohol has.




OMD
OMD, you summed up in your first paragraph the very two things that I miss about drinking. I do miss going out with my coworkers and having a couple of drinks while discussing the workplace. This used to be a weekly occurrence that I was alway invited to. When I quit drinking, I just began declining the invites, and now I no longer get asked. I don't take it personally, these folks are still my friends, and they probably think they are doing me a favor by not inviting me out. Still, I really do miss the camaraderie that occurred within the four walls of that bar.

The off switch that alcohol provided is definitely missed by me at times. I often work 10 hour days with only 8 hours in-between shifts. My mind is always racing after work, and a few drinks used to slow it down enough to try to get some sleep. However, the sleep I do get is better quality, I feel.

At seven months out, it gets harder to remember the bad times. I used to have a video of myself on my phone of me getting ready for work after drinking almost all night. My eyes were bloodshot and my head pounding. I was unshaven and looked like hell. I told myself (directly into my phone)that I was an alcoholic and needed to stop drinking. I deleted it after I quit drinking (almost a year later) but I wish I had kept it. Remembering the bad times helped keep me centered.

I have noticed my AV suggesting that I could probably handle a drink or two now that I have quit for a decent stretch. My previous attempts to moderate were during my full blown heavy drinking days. Surely, it is easier to go from 0 to 25 in a car than it is to go from 85 to 25, right? I have read many threads about people who have had just one glass of wine and ended up drinking for the next ten years. I really do get it. My brain chemistry got changed somewhere along the line. They have done studies showing the synapses of alcoholics fire like crazy in our pleasure centers when alcohol hits. I am pretty certain that I can not ever be a moderate drinker. Like you, I do miss some aspects of drinking. But at least for now, not drinking has made my overall life better, more manageable, and given me a feeling of being content with life that I value and enjoy. You are not alone OMD pondering these things.
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:58 PM
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Ah...the ol talk to yourself in the phone game. Yeppo. Man, I looked more tromped on than a Walmart doormat after Black Friday!
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:00 AM
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Hey guys! I've been reading along but have been posting all my updates in the November class.

OMD, your post and the discussion that followed struck a chord with me. I think it's totally normal to go through a "grieving" period. To feel and process those thoughts is healthy and something alcoholics are not very good at. It is clear that you are completely in control.

I guess what I have to add is that one drink never made me feel good. It gave me anxiety about the next drink 99% of the time, and if for some reason it didn't, then it didn't give me a feeling at all (similar to drinking a non-alcoholic beverage).

These last four months I've drank when I wanted to check out. When I wanted to go from 100 to 0. The thing is, the negative that comes with that behavior is too much of a liability.

I read Caroline Knapp's "Drinking: A Love Story" a few weeks ago. She gives examples of people she met who drank to check out, to pull the shade down over their eyes. That resonated with me. That's how I've always drank. Hell, the first time I got drunk at a party when I was 15 I remember sitting on the floor against the wall just staring at everyone in my drunk stupor. One of my friends said "Kim is a sedated drunk!" That first time. That's how it's been ever since. Not that I wasn't a wild and crazy party girl for many years, but the last few years it's been self medicating by myself bc I was ashamed at how drunk I got in front of others (needed to keep my image up around others).

Well that was a rather long rant. Clearly I'm bored at work! But I want you guys to know I am so proud of you for maintaining sobriety and I'm so glad that you are still here and posting. Take care
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:13 PM
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Hi,
Thank you so much for taking the time to post such thoughtful responses to my post. It really is a privilege to be among such considerate people. I agree with everything that was written and Kim your reminder that a drink doesn't actually fix anything is very well taken. SG I was you with the bloodshot eyes. Like you have no idea. Every day I was ashamed. I looked ill, felt ill and no wonder - I was permanently poisoned and just tired. There is a guy who is just like that now at work and I feel sorry for what he is going through. I also appreciate the reminder that it might not be as straightforward as just having a drink and then not. I might pay for that with 10 years of misery. Fundamentally that is too much of a risk and as I have posted many times before I am so happy with my life now compared to before that I do not want to risk everything.

So I guess i just shrug and move on, content because I know that overall my life is much better.

Thanks again
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:31 PM
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Good to hear from you Kim! I try to read the November threads when I can. Getting ready to go to a Christmas Holiday party with my wife's coworkers. It will be at a very nice steakhouse which is good but I know the booze will be flowing. She started this job six months ago so I have not met most of her coworkers. The old me would be pre partying before arrival and then a few quick ones at the bar before being seated. Glad that is no longer my plan of attack. Have a great weekend all!
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Old 12-05-2015, 05:19 PM
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Survived the party as the only non drinker out of the group. I turned down drinks at least six times. Finally, the waiter took my unused wine glass. The company president was definitely springing for quality vino. He travels to China for business often and was telling stories of how drinking for hours at lunch and dinner there is a prerequisite to doing business. I guess it's kind of what you have to deal with OMD on a regular basis.
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